Art and Culture

The Origin of Javanese Language

Java was once the center of several Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms, Islamic sultanates, Dutch East Indies colonial government, and the center of the Indonesian independence movement. And this has a huge impact on Indonesia’s social, political and economic life.

Banyumasan dialect or often called Ngapak Ngapak Language is a Javanese language group used in the western region of Central Java, Indonesia.

Some of the vocabulary and dialects are also used in northern Banten and the Cirebon-Indramayu area. The language slang is somewhat different than other Javanese dialects. This is because the Banyumasan language is still closely related to Old Javanese (Kawi).

Banyumasan language is famous for its distinctive way of speaking. This dialect is called Banyumasan because it is used by people who live in the Banyumasan region.

A Dutch language expert, E.M. Uhlenbeck, grouping dialects used in the western region of Central Java as a group (clump) of western Javanese language (Banyumasan, Tegalan, Cirebonan and Banten Utara).

The other group is the Central Javanese language (Surakarta, Yogyakarta, Semarang etc.) and the East Javanese language group.

The western Javanese language group (hope to be distinguished from West Java / Sundanese) is often called the Banyumasan language (ngapak-ngapak).

Geographically, the area of ​​North Banten and Cirebon-Indramayu is indeed outside the Banyumasan cultural area but according to Cirebon culture TD Sudjana, the language accent does indeed sound very similar to the Banyumasan language. This is interesting to study historically.

Compared to the Javanese dialect of Yogyakarta and Surakarta, the Banyumasan dialect has many differences. The main difference is the suffix ‘a’ is still pronounced ‘a’ not ‘o’. So if in Solo people eat ‘sego’ (nasi) rice, in Banyumasan region people eat ‘mangan sega’ rice.

In addition, the words ending in capital letters are read in full, for example, the delicious words by other dialects sound like that, while in the Banyumasan dialect it reads well with a clear ‘k’ sound, which is why the Banyumasan language is known as Ngapak or Ngapak-ngapak.

Cirebonan dialect is closely related to Javanese-Roman culture, namely Cirebon, Indrmayu to Serang; therefore the language they use also has a characteristic with Java-pantura icon.

Javanese-pantura language vocabulary may be “the same” with the Banyumasan language; this may be due to the function of the language of communication (Java, Kawi, Sanskrit) which is universal.

But in fact the Javanese-pantura dialect still has a characteristic that cannot be equated with the Banyumasan dialect. Thus, we also find it difficult to say that Cirebon, Indramayu, Serang are called ngapak-ngapak. Not also for the Tegal dialect.

Ngapak, it is still more appropriate to address (specifically) the Banyumasan dialect. However, in responding to those who speak Ngapak, we cannot compare straight-to-geographical administrative areas.

For example, not all districts. Cilacap is called Ngapak. Cilacap Barat (West Cilacap), like in several villages in Karang Pucung, Cimanggu, Wanareja, and Majenang Subdistricts, in fact it has been somewhat “crooked” into “kulonan/(western)” dialects or – borrowing terms in karawitan art, called the dialect “jaipongan.”

I hope that Ngapak’s term is not politicized for “opponent-words” dialect “wetanan/(eastern)” (Yogya-Sala) or dialect “bandhek.” This discussion will certainly be very long, if the parties do not accept each other’s circumstances.

Among the problems that often stick out, is that Javanese comes from the Javanese-kuna language, kawi; as the language of speech of ancient people. We can refer to the Ha Na Ca Ra Ka accent …
open Ho No Co Ro Ko …

The Ngapak language is also threatened with extinction because (maybe) it will be abandoned by its citizens. The present generation (sorry, young people) is almost difficult to write Javanese with latin script.

Especially with the Javanese letter Ha Na Ca Ra Ka … Besides that, the Government (Central Java) has not provided support for the sustainability of the Ngapak language. For example, the language of instruction in schools in the Ngapak area (maybe) is not required to use the Ngapak language, but instead uses bandhek language.


Para sedulur, nuwun sewu, cara nulis basa jawa “sing bener” ya kudu nurut maring aksara jawa Ha Na Ca R Ka. Aksara jawa langka vokal “O” anane “A”.

Jajalen panjenengan tindak maring Yogya, aksara jawa neng papan-papan Nama Jalan, Gedung, mesthi apa anane ora nganggo “taling-tarung.” Contone : Pasar Beringharjo; nulise ya Beringharja. Kota Solo, jan-jane asline ya “SALA.” Jajalen sih dibukak nek ana neng musium Pustakaraja (angger ana).

The sentence above means:

All of you, I’m sorry, the correct way to write Javanese must be according to the Javanese script. The letters in Javanese have no vowel “O” that has a vowel “A”.

Just try to play in Yogyakarta, the Javanese script that is in the street name, building, must use the actual Javanese script and not use “taling-tarung.” Example: Beringharjo Market; the writing is Beringharja. Solo City, which is actually “SALA.” Just open it at the Pustakaraja museum (if any).

Historically, Banten Javanese began to be spoken in the days of the Banten Sultanate in the 16th century. In those days, the Javanese language spoken in Banten was no different from the language in Cirebon, a little colored Banyumasan dialect.

The origin of the kingdom of Banten originated from a joint army of Demak and Cirebon which succeeded in seizing the northern coastal region of the Kingdom of Pajajaran. However, the Banten Javanese language starts to look different, what else is the narrative area surrounded by the narrative of Sundanese and Betawi languages.

This language became the main language of the Banten Sultanate (level of freedom) which occupied the Surosowan Palace. This language is also a daily language for residents of Banten Lor (North Banten).

Banten Javanese language or Banten dialect Javanese is spoken in the northern part of Serang Regency, Serang City, Cilegon City and the western area of ​​Tangerang Regency. This dialect is considered to be an ancient dialect as well as many influences of Sundanese and Betawi languages.

Javanese in Banten has two levels. That is the level of freedom (krama) and standard.

In Javanese the Banten dialect (Serang Java), the pronunciation of the letter ‘e’, ​​there are two versions. some say ‘e’, ​​as in the word “friend”. And there is also something called ‘a’, as in the word “apa” (What).

The regions that recite ‘a’ are Keragilan, Kibin, Cikande, Kopo, Pamarayan, and eastern regions. Whereas the regions that recite ‘e ’are Serang, Cipocok Jaya, Kasemen, Bojonegara, Kramatwatu, Ciruas, Anyer, and across the west.